Be on your guard against Council Tax scams

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Council tax, Crime and safety, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home, Your money

Residents are warned to be on their guard against a recent Council Tax scam.

Council tax scam warning

Cold caller scam

We have been made aware of a cold call scam in which a resident received a call from a person that falsely presented themselves as an employee of a company called GFM, claiming they can the resident a Council Tax refund of £5,000 for an upfront cost of £150.

This is a scam.

GFM are a legitimate Marketing company based in Colchester and are not responsible for any of these calls. GFM are now aware that they are being impersonated.

Be alert

Be mindful of cold callers that contact you, especially if they ask for money up front to get a refund or cash back and be especially vigilant if you have vulnerable relatives, friends or acquaintances.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Report it

If you are unsure whether a call is genuine, please report them to Action Fraud

  • Call the Action Fraud team on 0300 123 2040

Nominate a young person for a Sports Award

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Residents, Sports, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

Do you know a young person, aged between 13 and 25, that lives in the district that is a County or National standard athlete in their sport?

If so, why not nominate them for the Epping Forest District Council Young Sports award 2018!

Sports award poster

The winner of this award could get up to £1,000 towards

  • Help to buy specialist equipment or materials
  • Help towards competition/event entry fees or associated travel and accommodation costs
  • Help to fund extra or specialist coaching

Nomination details

To be eligible for the award your nominee must:

  • Be aged 13-25 on or before the closing date for applications on 24 November 17
  • Compete at county, regional or national level in a nationally governed sport
  • Live in the Epping Forest District
  • If at College or University, return ‘home’ to Epping Forest District during the holidays

Make a nomination

The deadline for applications is Friday 24 November 2017

Further information

Contact Fabrizio Ferrari

Chairman celebrates district’s attractions

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chairman, Chigwell, Civic events, Community, Epping, Local business, Loughton, Media, North Weald Airfield, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our countryside, Our performance, Out and about, Residents, Supporting business, Travel, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Chairman of Council Councillor Dave Stallan celebrated the district’s tourist attractions at North Weald Airfield and on the Epping Ongar railway recently.

Chairman's Civic lunch on the Epping Ongar railway 2017

A host of distinguished guests from authorities across Essex and the newly appoint Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst enjoyed a trip on a vintage bus to North Weald Station.

From there, guests were taken on a Diesel Multi Unit (DMU) train to Coopersale. On return to North Weald they changed trains and enjoyed a trip on a magnificent steam engine the Metropolitan E Class No. 1, which was built around 1901.

Rodger Green a long-serving volunteer at the railway gave a fascinating tour and talk on the history of Ongar Station and the Epping Ongar Railway. Everyone then returned to North Weald Station and onwards again on the bus to North Weald Airfield.

Showcasing what the district has to offer

The Chairman of Council, Councillor Stallan who was given the opportunity to ride the steam engine said: “As a North Weald resident, I often hear the trains pass along the track, whilst on the train I was amazed at the heat and the amount of work it takes to keep the coal fire fed to keep the steam at the correct pressure.”

“From the train I was able to enjoy a glorious view of the surrounding countryside and the beautiful Autumnal colours of the forest along the line.”

Councillor Stallan also added “This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase all that the district has to offer to residents and visitors alike.”

I am most grateful to the Epping Ongar Railway for hosting us on the day. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed themselves but more importantly, many more people are now aware of this attraction and will spread the word about our marvellous district and all it has to offer.”

Everyone welcome

Managing Director of the Epping Ongar Railway, who was also the bus driver for the day, Roger Wright said: “We are all very proud of the Epping Ongar Railway and hope that we will be welcoming many more visitors soon.”

£500 raised for Chairman’s charities

On the day the Chairman raised a total of £500 for his charities and local causes

  • The Norway House Garden Project
  • Safer Places
  • Epping & Ongar Air Cadets
  • Diabetes UK

Epping Ongar Railway

Enjoy the Epping Ongar railway for yourself. More information can be found at:

Respond to final reminders for annual canvass

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Democracy, Elections, Epping, Loughton, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

The final canvass of outstanding properties will take place between now and Wednesday 15 November 2017. The deadline for a response is Wednesday 22 November 2017.

Household Enquiry Form - Annual Canvass 2017

Final canvass

The fourth and final household enquiry forms will be delivered before the electoral register is published on 1 December 2017. If you have not registered, you will need to as soon as possible. Electoral registration is now a 2 part process.

Door knocking

Returning Officer Glen Chipp said: ”Canvassers will be knocking on the doors of these properties between 6 November and 15 November 2017 to retrieve information. Electors will have until 22 November 2017 at the very latest to respond if they wish to be included in the new register.”

First Stage

You will need the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form and you can do 1 of the following

  1. Confirm online at www.householdresponse.com/eppingforest
  2. Text NOCHANGE – with your security number to 80212
  3. Confirm by phone 0800 197 9871

Need to make a change?

You will need the 2 part security code on your household enquiry form and can do 1 of the following

  1. Amend the information online easily and quickly at www.householdresponse.com/eppingforest
  2. Amend the form and return it to us in the prepaid envelope – please make sure you give a contact phone number or email address in case of queries

Second stage

Merely completing the Household Enquiry Form does not mean you are registered. Don’t forget to

You will need your date of birth, national insurance number, nationality and any previous addresses. Please also make sure you include a contact phone number and/or email address in case of queries.

Electoral registration

If you receive an email about electoral registration or a paper registration form in the post, you need to respond online, by phoning Electoral services with the information requested. You can also fill in the form and send it back, but please do not ignore it.

Affected credit ratings

Glen Chipp continued: ”Any information received after 22 November 2017 will not be added to the register until January 2018. It is worth noting that not being on the electoral register can affect your credit rating in the run up to Christmas.”

Paying for policing, the PFCC needs #yourviews

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Consultation, Council tax, Crime and safety, Democracy, Emergencies, Epping, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Out and about, Regulations, Residents, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

Do you want to increase the levels of policing in Essex? Willing to pay more Council tax to do so? The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PFCC) want your views.

Police car

Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex is asking Essex residents to fill in an online survey to gauge whether or not residents would be happy to pay more, so more resources can be invested in policing across the county.

Essex Police’s Funding comes from two sources

  • Central Government
  • Local Council Tax

Essex Police receives the lowest funding per resident of any police force in the country and has the sixth lowest council tax for policing.

Have your say

The survey will be live from 01.00 am Monday 6 November to 00.00am on Sunday 19 November.

The PFCC want you to join in the conversation on social media by using the #yourviews.

Providing the best service possible

PFCC Mr Hirst said: “I want to provide the best service possible for the people of Essex and increasing investment will help me deliver this. I’m not expecting any increase in central Government funding for this year but I can raise the police precept. However, before I make that decision I want to know what the views of the public are so I can take them into account.”

He added: “At every public meeting I attend I hear that the residents want more police on the streets and whilst both Essex Police and I are doing everything we can to make that happen, we don’t have the money or resources to deliver it in the best way that we want to. The demand on the police service is rising. New crime types are emerging and existing crime is rising in its complexity, this is against a backdrop of an unprecedented shift in the national security environment. My question to the public is this – do they want to pay more for those extra resources?”

Waltham Abbey business fined over £4k

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Crime and safety, Environmental health, Epping, Loughton, Ongar, Our activities, Our countryside, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Owners of R&A Waste Removal Limited of Pick Hill, Waltham Abbey were prosecuted by Epping Forest District Council on 14 September 2017 for storing an estimated 100 – 150 tonnes of waste, when only licensed by the Environment Agency to store 10 tonnes.

Pick Hill - R&A Prosecution

Click on an image below to begin slideshow

Directors prosecuted

Alfie Smith and Richard McGuire, directors of a waste removal company in Waltham Abbey were prosecuted for depositing waste without a permit or an exemption and falling in their duty of care.

Over 10 times the limit

Portfolio Holder for Environment, Councillor Will Breare-Hall said: ”R&A Waste Removal Limited was registered with an exemption administered by the Environment Agency, allowing the company to sort up to 10 tonnes of mixed recyclable waste at any one time.”

”However, following an investigation by the Council’s Neighbourhoods team, it was found that the company was storing an estimated 100 to 150 tonnes of waste, ten times the amount they were licenced to store. They were also sorting significant quantities of non-recyclable waste that was not covered by the exemption either.”

”Storing large piles of unregulated waste is not only illegal, it also poses a fire hazard, presents pollution risks, and looks unsightly. The Council will not tolerate the growth of unregulated waste disposal site”.

Guilty

The defendants each pleaded guilty to depositing waste on the site without a permit or in accordance with an exemption administered by the Environment Agency. R & A Waste Removal Limited also pleaded guilty to failing their waste duty of care.

Fines in excess of £4,000

Alfie Smith and Richard McGuire were each fined £1,000 and ordered to pay a contribution towards the Council’s prosecution costs of £500 and a Victim Surcharge of £120. Their company R & A Waste Removal Limited were fined £2,000 and ordered to pay a contribution towards the Council’s prosecution costs of £1,000 and a Victim Surcharge of £170.

Further information

The PFCC wants your views

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Crime and safety, Democracy, Emergencies, Epping, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Residents, Uncategorized, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home

Concerned about crime in our community? Want to know more facts about the way the district is policed? Come and talk to Roger Hirst the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (PFCC).

PCC meeting 20 November 2017

Talk to your PFCC

This is an open meeting and all members of the public are welcome.

  • Do you care about the way your community is policed?
  • Do you want to know the facts about crime in your area?

Come along to Roger Hirst’s public meeting and have your say

When

  • 20 November 2017

Time

  • 6.30pm to 8.00pm

Where

  • Council Chamber
    Civic Offices
    High Street
    Epping
    CM16 4BZ

Ask a question

You can ask PFCC Roger Hirst a question at the meeting.

Can’t come to the meeting?

Email your question to pfcc@essex.pnn.police.uk

Watch

Working together for a safer future

Safer, Greener and Transport Portfolio Holder Councillor Sam Kane said: “If you have a concern or wish to know more about the way our district is policed these meetings are a great opportunity to ask your questions.”

“The district has such a strong sense of community, and events like these are vital in ensuring we all feel safe and protected.”

“So come along and help the police understand the issues you’re facing, let’s work together to make our district a safer place to live.”

Overview and Scrutiny 31 October 2017

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Community, Councillors, Democracy, Environmental health, Epping, Equalities, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Older people, Ongar, Our performance, Out and about, Performance, Regulations, Residents, Waltham Abbey, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment

There are signs of improvement in services provided by Whipps Cross Hospital. Part of the Barts Health NHS Trust, the hospital has been in special measures following poor Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections. A presentation to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee of Epping Forest District Council following the latest CQC inspections in May suggest the hospital has improved from ‘inadequate’ to ‘overall requires improvement’. However, as one first-hand account of patient care at the end of the presentation demonstrated, there is still some way to go.

View the webcast

  • Dr Heather Noble – Medical Director, Whipps Cross Hospital
  • Alan Gurney – Managing Director, Whipps Cross Hospital

Signs of improvement at hospital trust

Alan Gurney, Managing Director said that any further CQC inspections today would see more improvements. However, he added that the condition of operating theatres was still a cause for concern. Investment in theatre refurbishments is scheduled for next year.

The CQC has seen an increase in the quality of the working environment and culture of the hospital. Bullying was previously identified as a major issue with high turnover of staff and heavy reliance on agency support. Significant improvements have been made in these areas. The hospital is also old. Many of its buildings pre-date the creation of the NHS. Investment is needed in new buildings.

Dr Heather Noble assured Councillor Steven Neville that issues around radiation exposure to staff had been resolved. Councillor David Stallan received assurances that Alan Gurney had no plans to relocate Whipps Cross, although the hospital is on a large site and could potentially operate from a smaller footprint.

Councillor Roger Baldwin asked about bed-blocking and capacity. Alan Gurney used the phrase ‘delayed discharge’ for which he had 11 cases at that moment. He assured councillors that he was working with partners to reduce discharge delays. No bed spaces had been closed this year and Mr Gurney considered it to be a lesser challenge than some other issues facing the hospital.

Councillors Mitchell and Sartin received further information in response to questions about bullying. Councillor Chambers explored the depth of hospital planning for the winter. Alan Gurney confirmed additional investment in building work and weekend cover arrangements to enhance winter cover. There is also additional ‘step-down’ coverage and coordination with partners in the ambulance service and care homes. The staff flu vaccination campaign is part of steps to prepare staff for the winter season.

Councillor David Wixley followed up on the issues of bullying and culture. Councillor Nigel Bedford focused on staff retention and reusing the defunct nursing home for other purposes. Alan Gurney provided assurance that recruitment and retention improvements are ongoing. He also felt that the site had plenty of capacity for development including accommodation for staff.

Responding to Councillor Gagan Mohindra, Dr Noble said that the Council could provide support by communicating the message about the need for redevelopment of outdated buildings.

Developing staffs careers

Dr Noble emphasised that managers as such ‘were not bad’ after Alan Gurney described how Whipps Cross was focusing on continual recruitment of nurses and a requirement for more doctors.

Dr Noble said that further work was needed in developing career and employment links with local schools and colleges. Responding to Councillor Holly Whitbread, she described good examples of work in Newham which could be adopted for Whipps Cross.

Mortuary facilities are old and in need of replacement but Dr Noble assured Councillor Bedford that the dignity of the deceased and care for the bereaved was a high priority.

Responding to Councillor Baldwin, Alan Gurney said that it would be wrong to say the use of Private Finance Initiative funding (PFI) was not an option but he added that there was no appetite for it.

Dementia care is also a priority. Responding to Councillor Aniket Patel, Dr Noble outlined some of the programmes including Dementia Friends and creating clinical areas more dementia ‘friendly’. Alan Gurney added that with the focus on older patients, dementia care was critical.

Councillor Mary Sartin, chairman of Overview and Scrutiny thanked Mr Gurney and Dr Noble, concluding questions with reference to the caring and compassionate approach of staff recognised in the latest CQC report.

Learning from the past

Mr Gurney and Dr Noble were invited to stay at the end of their presentation questions for a statement by a local resident. Janis Crowder gave an emotional account of her mother’s poor experience as a patient of Whipps Cross last year. Accepting improvements have since been made, Ms Crowder felt it was important to explain to hospital managers the difficulties and inadequacies of her mother’s care.

A copy of the CQC report summary is available within the Overview and Scrutiny agenda.

Transport for London 9 January 2018

Transport for London managers have agreed to attend the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny Committee to discuss various public transport issues in January. Essex County Council is also to be invited to attend the Neighbourhoods Select Committee to discuss County bus services.

Epping Forest College 27 February 2018

Committee councillors also noted the scheduled attendance of the Principal of Epping Forest College at the meeting of Overview and Scrutiny on 27 February 2018.

12k in grants given to community groups

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Business, Chigwell, Commercial properties, Community, Epping, Equalities, Grants, Health, Local business, Loughton, Media, Older people, Ongar, Our activities, Our attractions, Our performance, Out and about, Playschemes, Residents, Sports, Supporting business, Travel, Waltham Abbey, Working with the council, Young people, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your environment, Your home, Your money

6 local community and voluntary groups have been awarded £12,840 in grants helping the district’s social and physical wellbeing.

Grant aid banner

Grants awarded

  • Hertfordshire Boat Rescue
    £830 for radio equipment for use by volunteers on rescue missions and events
  • Playground at Theydon Association (PAT)
    £5,000 contribution towards the refurbishment of the Theydon Bois playground
  • Fyfield Bridge Club
    £1,200 contribution towards the cost of new scoring equipment for the club
  • Ongar & Villages Voluntary Care
    £1,770 to support their transporting service which supports older people
  • Loughton Voluntary Care
    £1,540 to support their transporting service which supports older people
  • Fyfield Village Hall
    £5,000 contribution towards the refurbishment of the gentleman’s toilets and cloakroom

Keeping our communities thriving

Leisure and Community Services Portfolio Holder Councillor Helen Kane said: “Our grants go on to help such a wide variety of people throughout our community, giving our parents and children a social place to be active in new playgrounds, to giving our older resident’s opportunities to get out of the house and gain more independence with Loughton’s voluntary care community transport service.”

“I am proud that these grants are actively helping people in our district, giving much needed and valued services the boost they need to go on and keep our communities thriving. Can you think of a community group or voluntary service that could use a cash boost? Don’t delay, apply now.”

Apply for a £5k grant

If your community group could use up to £5,000 to help with your one-off project, initiative or even the further development of an existing scheme, apply now.

Find out if your group is eligible

Decisions from Plans South 25 October

Written on . Posted in Buckhurst Hill, Chigwell, Community, Democracy, Loughton, Media, Meetings, Out and about, Planning, Residents, Your area, Your community, Your council

Planning application decisions from Area Planning Sub-Committee South meeting on Wednesday 25 October 2017.

Watch the webcast

Decisions

  1. EPF/2114/17 – 62 Borders Lane, Loughton, Essex IG10 3QX
    Permission granted
  2. EPF/0877/17 – 55 Hainault Road, Chigwell, Essex IG7 5DH
    Permission granted
  3. EPF/1961/17 – 2 Connaught Avenue, Loughton, Essex IG10 4DP
    Permission granted
  4. EPF/2165/17 – 38 Chigwell Lane, Loughton, Essex IG10 3NY
    Permission granted
  5. EPF/2187/17 – 43 Smarts Lane, Loughton, Essex IG10 4BU
    Permission granted
  6. EPF/2226/17 – 46 Spareleaze Hill, Loughton, Essex IG10 1BT
    Permission granted
  7. EPF/2252/17 – Oak Field House, Debden Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 2NY
    Permission granted

Planning application search